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Mills predicts 'fireworks' from Blake

Published:Thursday | June 30, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer

Coach Glen Mills is predicting 'fireworks' from his 21-year-old charge, Yohan Blake, at the upcoming World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, following the athlete's close second to former world record holder Asafa Powell in the men's 100 metres at the recently concluded Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships.

"Yohan was not healthy at the meet, and come World Champion-ships we will see the best from Yohan as I expect a lot of fireworks from him," said Mills, whose athlete clocked 10.09 seconds. Powell won in 10.08.

Blake, who showed signs of injury in the earlier rounds, hailed his coach as 'great'.

"I was able to perform well at the National Championships because I worked hard in training and coach Mills is a great coach," he said.

After his performance at the Jamaica International Invitational meet in May, where he sped to vic-tory in a fast wind-aided time (9.80), many listed Blake to win at the National Trials, despite the quality line-up, in which five others and himself had gone under 10 seconds.

"There was no pressure for me as I have a great mentor and coach, who prepared me both mentally and physically, taking me through the whole process, so going into the race all I had to do was to execute," said Blake.

Perfect start

He added: "Although the field was very competitive, I was not worried about my poor start earlier, as before the semi-final coach Mills had me doing some starts in the warm-up area, and in the final he just told me to be relaxed and that is what I did," said Blake, who got a perfect start in the final.

"At the finish, I thought I had won, but after looking on the playback on the big screen, I realised that I eased up before the finish line and that is where I lost the race.

"My coach always tells me that I must run through the line and this taught me a lesson, that I must never ease up before passing the finish line, and this will never happen again," he continued.

Mills said inexperience led to Blake's demise.

"When you looked on the line-up Yohan had the least experience of all the athletes, as others have competed at the highest level before and this was his biggest moment, so the occasion got the better of him," Mills said.

For now, Blake is just happy to have made the team.

"I think I will be ready for the World Championships, as going though the first hurdle at the National Championships has taken a lot of pressure off me, and I know my coach has some great plans for me in the weeks leading up to the World Championships."

Blake added: "The Toronto meet, which I should have competed in, he (Mills) pulled me out saying that is something good for me as I need to get back healthy before racing again."

Blake, who shunned he media after the event, said he would neither comment on that nor remarks made by Powell, who in a post-race interview stated that "this was not a boy thing, but a big man thing".